Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca has committed to discovering and developing antibody-based treatments against SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

The company will be leveraging its proprietary antibody discovery technology, which was originally developed under an agreement with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to screen antibodies and identify potential drug candidates.

AstraZeneca is being supported in its work by partnerships with academia, including Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It is also hoping to collaborate with and support governments in clinical development and manufacturing.

AstraZeneca subsidiary BioPharmaceuticals executive vice-president of research and development Mene Pangalos said: “Through our scientific expertise in infectious disease and antibody discovery and development, we have rapidly mobilised our research efforts to help respond to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

“By partnering with government and academia, our ambition is to accelerate the discovery and development of a safe and effective antibody treatment to help fight Covid-19.”

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